Understanding Vocational Rehabilitation Services

As a deaf or hard-of-hearing student, your state’s vocational rehabilitation office is an important resource to help you plan and finance a college education. Financial assistance to deaf and hard-of-hearing students is often provided by state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies. Agency titles vary from state to state. You can find information about your local office in the vocational rehabilitation directory.

During your junior or senior years in high school, you may begin the application process with vocational rehabilitation. Your local agency will determine if you are eligible for services. To be eligible, you must have an impairment that results in a substantial impediment to employment.

Among the services that may be provided by VR agencies to you once you become a client are:

  • Tuition expenses
  • Books and supplies
  • Room and board
  • Transportation

To be eligible for services through VR, a student must meet the following federally mandated guidelines:

  • The student must have a documented physical, mental, emotional or learning disability that has a significant impact on the student’s ability to get or keep a job.
  • The student must require VR services to find, keep and succeed in a job.

Meeting with a VR counselor in your area can help you determine if you are eligible for their services.

For more information on vocational rehabilitation, visit the US Department of Education’s Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). If you have further questions, check out the RSA’s FAQ page.